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Latino Daily News

Wednesday November 23, 2011

School Trip to Lockheed Martin Canceled Because 2 Students are Not U.S. Citizens

School Trip to Lockheed Martin Canceled Because 2 Students are Not U.S. Citizens

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An elementary school’s field trip had to be canceled because two of the students in the class are not U.S. citizens, something their teacher didn’t know mattered.

The students were scheduled to make the trip to Lockheed Martin in Fort Worth, TX, but were told that due to security measures, two things need to be verified - each child needed to be at least 10 years old, and each had to be U.S. citizens.

Lockheed Martin is one of U.S. Department of Defense’s largest defense contractors, so simply looking at warplanes and taking a learning tour, require certain security requirements.

For the 5th-graders of an Aledo school, knowing they weren’t hardened criminals probably seemed like enough to tour the plant, but in recent years, proof of citizenship has become a requisite - even for young school children.

Lockheed spokesman Joe Stout told the Star-Telegram, “We’re proud of the work we do at our facility, and we allow employees to host family members or other associates on tours of unclassified areas for informational or educational purposes.

“In general, all visitors hosted by an employee must be over the age of 10 and must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. If the visit were hosted by the company as part of our community relations program, all students who were not U.S. citizens would be required to present the proper documentation, such as a passport, to validate their identity and the country of which they were claiming citizenship.”

However, since these students were part of a school trip, Suzanne Marchman, spokeswoman for the Texas Education Agency, said that since the schools are required to teach students regardless of their immigration status, school trips should follow the same guidelines.